‘Rolling Stone’ covers artist who sings tribute to fallen soldier in ‘Danger Close’

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By Stephen L. Betts Rolling Stone
Barrett Baber, whose full-throated, Southern rock-tinged vocals took him to a third-place finish on Season Nine of NBC’s The Voice in 2015, has released “Still Stands,” a powerful song from his album A Room Full of Fighters. Penned by Baber with Kenny Lamb, the tune recounts the brave, inspiring story of U.S. Army Staff Sergeant Robert Ryan Pirelli, who was killed in action in Iraq in August 2007, but not before leaving behind a combat outpost that would one day bear his name and inspire a documentary film.


A native of Franklin, Massachusetts, Pirelli volunteered for military service in 2003 as a Special Forces (Green Beret) recruit in the Army. Deployed in support of Operation Iraqi Freedom in March 2007, he used his engineering skill to establish an outpost in the dangerous Diyala province. The outpost Pirelli built protected American soldiers from harm during his deployment and continued to protect American troops for several years after he was killed. Remembered by his fellow soldiers not only for his ingenuity, bravery and a thick Boston accent, Pirelli, a hockey enthusiast, also spent time teaching local Iraqi children how to play baseball. After he was killed, the combat outpost was renamed Combat Outpost Pirelli in his honor and a symbol to remember him – a sword, lightning bolts and fire – became part of what his fellow soldiers called “The House That Rob Built.”

To read more about Alex Quade and “Danger Close”, visit Rolling Stone.